Doc Searles weighs in on Autolink

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Thread Title:
Markets are Relationships Part N
Thread Description:

Thought he'd been a bit quiet...

Anyway, here's the problem: Google is an advertising company, more than a search company. That's becoming clearer with this feature, and the company's apparent lack of interest in the feedback they've been getting.
The problem for commercial media from the beginning has always been the separation of customers from consumers. (Which I've been writing and talking about for a long time.) This problem is worst where the consumers pay nothing. (This separates subscription media, where the consumers are customers, from broadcasting, where the consumers are not.)
Google's consumers pay nothing. Google consumers are very much, in this respect, like commercial broadcasting's consumers: powerless. They can't say "I'll take my business elsewhere," because they have no business to take.
Usage, maybe. But not business.

and a little further on..

Note: Microsoft dropped whatever-it-was [later: SmartTags] that Autolink does as well. Why? Because Microsoft listened to its customers.